Analysing PMB’s Straight -From-The-Heart Final Independence Day Address

Waheed Ekun

Once more, and on a final note, President Muhammadu Buhari delivered perhaps his longest and most unique address on the occasion of Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary on October 1.

For me, the address is not only long and inspirational, but one that sums up his genuine efforts to “unite the country, Improve the economy, tackle corruption and fight Insecurity” aimed at putting the country on the path of sustainable growth, development and prosperity.

This can be seen, touched and felt through his massive infrastrutural projects across regions and sectors he embarked upon since coming to power on May 29th, 2015 and other laws and policy decisoons he had pursued relentlessly.

The President was full of praises and appreciation to the Almighty and Nigerians respectively for “their support to me at one of the most trying times in our country’s history”. While admitting that the tasks before him were daunting but sumountable, PMB was unequivocal in stating that his government has made appreciable progress in those areas, but that we are not yet at our destination.

It is on record that the PMB administration had re-positioned the economy by providing strategic interventions in core areas. It had also made significant progress in the eradication of deeply entrenched corruption that permeates all facets of our national lives by strengthening the institutions tackling corruption and also cultivated international support that aided repatriation of huge sums of money illegally kept outside the country.

Noteworthy is the fact that government’s efforts in re-setting the economy manifested in Nigeria exiting two economic recessions through practical and realistic monetary and fiscal measures for effective public finance management. This is in addition to the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account, TSA and cutting down on the cost of governance whuch also facilitated early exits from the recessions.

It is indeed very gratiying to this Buharist that the administration removed several decades of uncertainty for potential investors in the Oil & Gas sector with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021. It is indeed a landmark legislation that created opportunities for the massive and unprecedented influx of foreign investments, in addition to improving transparency in the management of the oil sector that has in fact been in the eye of the storm of corruption in the country for a very long time.

The administration’s desired priority to the Agricultural Sector through series of incentives to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises that resulted in creating millions of jobs, this is another achievement of the government under PMB.

In his own words, “the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention in a number of areas, as well as its Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP had created the required leverages for Nigerians towards self-sufficiency in food production and security and the necessary attraction for farming as a business”.

Indeed the growing contributions of non-oil exports, especially in agriculture, information and communication technology as well as the performing arts to our national economy has no doubt enhanced our foreign exchange earning capacity.

One must admit, like PMB did in his address, that the daredevils confronting current economic challenges, such as debt burden, growing inflation, living standards and increasing unemployment, accentuated by our growing youthful population have posed the greatest challenges to the PMB administration.

Though not unmindful of the fact that the problems are globally induced, PMB assured that government is determined to ensure that their negative effects are addressed in government policies.

The administration has pledged to continue to ensure that our fiscal policies are supported by a robust and contemporary monetary policy that recognises our peculiarities in the midst of the growing global economic difficulties. Towards this end, the country’s Monetary Policy Committee, MPC’s, decision to maintain all parameters, especially interest rates had marginally increased the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR from 14% to 15.5% and the Cash Reserve Ratio, CRR from 27.5% to 32.5%.

One naughty challenge that has festered way back before PMB came on board in 2015, government has continued to de-escalate the security challenges, newer forms alien to our country began to manifest especially in the areas of kidnappings, molestations/killings of innocent citizens, banditry, all of which are being addressed by our security forces.

As a leader, PMB restated that he is pained by the pains Nigerians are going through, assured that their resilience and patience would not be in vain as the administration had continued to reposition and strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges.

The recurring disruption to our tertiary education system is also another painful side of the administration, prompting Mr President’s appeal to the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU to return to work in the larger interest of the country. He further pledged to mobilise international and national resources towards funding the country’s education.

This administration also embarked on addressing critical ecological challenges across the country in order to mitigate the impact of Climate Change manifesting in the form of flood, soil erosion, desertification and air pollution among others.

The government had pledged to continue to ensure that the country’s infrastructure drive remains the key to Nigeria’s economic growth and for which every Nigerian will feel the impact.

The Federal Government is already expanding ports operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

The government has also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

To further open up our communities to economic activities, government has continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical rail services and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.

The point must be made that over the years the President had done the best he could to enthrone a good governance system anchored on electing credible leaders on the basis of free, fair, credible and transparent elections in the country.

To further actualise his ambition to bequeath an ever lasting and sustainable democratic culture for the country, he signed the Electoral Act 2021 as amended with landmark provisions for a more transparent and inclusive Electoral Process.

On the whole, yours sincerely strognly, like other patriots, believe that PMB has done his best in giving this country the desired leadership and direction so far on all fronts. This is however not to say that there are no noticeable gaps in the system but it’s not all failures as some Nigerians seem to put forward against the administration.




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